Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Criminal Procedure Bill

Graeme Edgeler has a long criticism of the government's Criminal Procedure Bill (currently held up in committee, but about to escape it due to a few recent acquittals) here. He doesn't like it. At all. Not just the exception to double jeopardy in cases where the police "discovering" "new and compelling evidence" to support a conviction (an exception which led to the bill receiving a rare negative BORA report [PDF] from the Attorney-General), but also the introduction of majority verdicts and the limitations on the right to a jury trial. Oh, there's a lot of good procedural tweaks in there, but the major amendments in the bill are unjustifiable and wrong.

Unfortunately, the bill is a done deal now, waiting only for the final steps of its committee stage, and under Parliament's Standing orders, none of those horrific infringements of our right to a fair trial can be removed (well, not without leave).